Janae furious that she trusted Ned and Kirsten.
Ned admitting to Janae that Kirsten tried to kiss him.
Karl realising that medicine is his life, and Dr Newton saying that she doesn't trust him with someone's life.
The Parkers' Place
Karl strops in.
STEVE: Oh, I can't mate, I've gotta go to work -
KARL: No no no! Not us, our wives! Look at this...
Karl shows Steve a note from Susan, explaining that Susan's unwell - he didn't realise she was serious about going on a 10K hike. She could have an episode at any moment. (In fact, they're both having an episode right now - boom boom. Yeah, not that funny, I know.)
Apparently their mobiles are switched off, and Karl has no idea where they are; he's furious that Randa and Becca have taken her out. He strops out as quickly as he came in.
The General Store
Harold is talking to Riley about Christmas, Bishop style, and Riley is doodling in his notepad. Elle brings over some chocolate cake, and Riley reminds her that he asked for carrot - unless, of course, she'd like to do the article on Ramsay Street Christmas Decorations. Elle goes straight back for carrot cake.
Harry explains more about the Bishop lights.
Carmy and Marco are chatting at a table about work. Marco gets up to leave and says he'll see her next week. Carmy wants to see him before then, but he reminds her that she wanted to take it slow; she looks remarkably frustrated at that.
Karl sits, waiting. Libby perches on the sofa. Susan, Randa and Becca return home from their walk.
KARL: You are barely one week out of hospital.
SUSAN: (to the girls) You remember the invalid police? I told you this morning I was going.
KARL: I thought you were teasing.
SUSAN: I had a map, and I was wearing runners.
Libby explains how worried Karl was, and he reminds her how ill she's been, and how suddenly she could relapse.
SUSAN: Maybe you should trade me in on a new model.
KARL: I'm not joking.
SUSAN: I'm not laughing.
Becs points out that they were looking after her, and Susan suggests he microchip her and track her movements. Karl retorts that it's not a bad idea. Miranda apologises to Karl, and Susan tells her not to - it's the first time in ages that she's felt like herself again. She's thrilled that she made it all the way to the top!
Karl, on the other hand, shouts that MS is manageable but only if she looks after herself. In his medical opinion, she's being irresponsible about her health. Susan remarks that it's lucky, then, that he's not her doctor...
The Parkers' Place
Janae isn't so much folding the washing, as flinging it about and filling it with her anger. She tells Miranda that she's furious that Kirsten tried to kiss Ned, and she's going to and see Janelle and her family for Christmas. Miranda reminds her that Ned loves her, not Kirsten, and Janae thinks that if she goes then Ned might actually do something about it.
Don't bet your life on it, sweetheart.
Janae wants Kirsten out of their lives - she's about to have a full blown mental attack on him.
MIRANDA: Again? Because, it worked so well in Oakey, didn't it...
(That's Oakey down the road, just past West Warratah, for the record. Not the actual Oakey in Queensland, clearly. Otherwise there's no explanation for the speed at which everyone seems to travel there and back.)
Randa says the situation needs a coffee and cake injection. I like the way this woman thinks.
Ned comes into the bar. Ned demands to speak to Kirsten, and tells her that he has told Janae about the kiss Kirsten is furious. She throws a mini hissy fit, saying she won't come over any more, then, if there's tension, and Ned tells her that they'll work it out like adults.
KIRSTEN: She'll knock my lights out.
NED: Too bad.
The General Store
Randa and Janae are having coffee and cake, and Janae tells her almost-sister-in-law-once-removed that she warned Ned about Kirsten, and yet she's always made out to be the bad guy. She feels that Kirsten gets away with anything "because she's Mickey's mother."
Miranda suggests that Mickey won't want Janae to go anywhere for Christmas.
Becca is speaking to Riley about the Christmas decoration article - he needs to speak to her because this year, she and Paul are going to give Harry a run for his money. Riley could not look less thrilled. Neither could Paul.
But Becca's enthusiasm remains unabated. She'd like a picture of number 22 in the paper, too.
Elle brings over a toasted sandwich with extra cheese. Riley wanted no cheese.
Frazer and Carmella enter the bar with a Christmas bag that you could actually pack Natalie Blair into and cart her off. (In fact, that's not a bad idea. But I digress.) Carmella pulls out a HUGE pair of wings, for her and Marco when they make their deliveries. Of the fruit and veg or the baby kind, Carmy?
Frazer looks as enthusiastic as Riley.
BECCA: Oh, they're *adorable*!
FRAZER: I'm not sure that's quite the word Marco will use.
Well, isn't this festive and jolly?
I mean, can't you just sniff that Christmas tragedy that's just around the corner?
Susan's taking out her anger on the floor mop. Karl comes out the bedroom, and Susan makes a dig that she hopes it's acceptable to exert herself by cleaning the house. Karl doesn't rise to it.
KARL: You can exert yourself all you like as long as you don't overdo it.
Susan doesn't want to be treated like a sick person, and Karl agrees: she's not critically ill. But her body's not as resilient as it was so she needs to take care.
SUSAN: I know how I feel. You don't.
KARL: I actually know quite a bit about MS.
SUSAN: Yeah, Karl, from books. Not from experience.
No, no, because it's not like he's just spent the last 8 weeks taking care of you, helping you, protecting you, and looking after you as well as the family, is it, Susan??
But Susan's not done yet, and goes in for the most hurtful of kills...
SUSAN: This is MY journey, and no matter how much you think you MIGHT know, ultimately I'm travelling it alone.
Hurt, Karl walks out, saying that he's obviously getting in the way.
KARL: I'll leave you to it, Susan.
SUSAN: Oh, Karl - don't!
She sighs in exasperation. Kinda brought that one on yourself, there, my dear...
Becca's enthusiasm is riding high, with front page visions of the decorations in number 22. Riley suggests that community notices tend to go on the back page.
BECCA: I promise we'll put on a good show for you!
ELLE: Mmmm. "Lights go on." What a scoop.
Becca goes back to join Paul, Carmy and Frazer.
CARM: You know, you could synchronise the flashing to go with the music.
FRAZER: There's gonna be flashing? Now, that's the story.
Becca's not sure about flashing (thank goodness). BUT! She'd like to sing Christmas carols! Carmy would, too!
Paul and Frazer look like they'd rather be anywhere else.
The General Store
Darren sits alone at a table. Libby and Ben come in, as Darren's taking Ben fishing. Not sure how successful that will be, as Ben's shouting will probably scare the fish away, but - hey.
Harry comes over and relays the most IMPROBABLY story about Drew that one could ever imagine, about a fishing trip where Libby lost her earring overboard. Apparently, Drew caught a huge fish, and inside it was the earring! No way!
Did a storyliner write that after reading the story of Jonah and the Whale at Sunday school?
Darren looks uncomfortable, which doesn't go unnoticed by Lib.
Libby thinks that if she lets Darren take over, then she's lost Drew forever. Steph gently reminds her that if she can't remember Drew and the fun they had then she's lost him forever anyway. If she's sad when she remembers Drew, then it's not Drew she's remembering; it's her loss.
Steph says that Drew would be delighted that Ben was off fishing with someone who adored him. She also thinks that whilst she holds onto Drew so tightly, she's letting Darren slip away.
The Parkers' Place
Miranda thinks that Janae is doing the right thing by staying - which Ned overhears and wants to know what's going on. Janae explains that she was thinking about going north. She throws a little bit of a hissy fit about the fact that she's going to stay, with some sarcastic remarks about Ned, Kirsten and some mistletoe, before stropping off.
JANAE: Yeah, I'm going for a walk.
JANAE: Oh, like I'm gonna walk to Queensland...
Oh, I dunno. Given the speed with which one can drive to Oakey, she could probably do Queensland in a couple of hours.
The General Store
Rosie is challenging Harry as to whether he'll be ready to turn his Christmas lights on at 1930 tonight - because she is! And Harry's gotten competition this year!
In a world of her own, Carmella leads Frazer and Rosie out the store.
The Parkers' Place
Mickey wants to know when the Christmas lights will be going on - he wants to know exactly how many hours, but Ned doesn't know. He goes to play in the backyard.
Steve and Randa try and counsel Ned over Janae and the kiss with Kirsten. Miranda thinks Ned's being mean, and Ned thinks Janae's being unreasonable.
Susan's on the laptop, reading emails. Libby comes home.
Susan tells her daughter that Karl sent her an email when she was in hospital - even though she was blind at the time! Libby reads it out.
"Whatever comes, I'll be beside you. Lean on me."
Libby thinks that men are hopeless - it would be so much easier to just hate them but then they do lovely things like this.
Susan says that Karl has been so great about everything, and she just bit his head off. She knows she's not going through any of this alone - she has Karl and the kids.
She then sees another email - from the hospital. He's gotten a job as a registrar.
LIB: Didn't he say he was *never* going back to medicine?
SUSAN: Every time I begged him to.
LIB: As a registrar... Isn't that a step down for him?
SUSAN: He's done this because I'm not working. He's done this for me.
Rosie wants a Vegas feel to her decorations. She barks instructions at Frazer who takes them on the chin whilst mimicking her behind her back. He deliberately drops all the Santas he's carrying on the lawn.
Over at number 22, Becca instructs Paul and Ollie on where to put their decorations. She orders them to fetch extension cords.
Rosie comes over, all professional. She looks really tall in this scene, even though she isn't.
ROSIE: Listen, I thought if we could get the boys to do all the dangerous things, we can concentrate on the gardens and the street frontage.
BECCA: Yeah yeah yeah. Good thinking.
Harry drives up with his giant statues of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus.
Steph is running out just as Steve is running in to escape from Christmas. Steph advises him that Karl's at the bar and could do with a mate.
Steve goes to Karl, and apologises for not realising how ill Susan is; Karl apologises for getting so cross. He also admits that finances are grim, and he tried to go back to medicine but they turned him down. Aw, Karl...
They agree to have beers.
Janae comes in to escape Christmas, too.
JANAE: Have you seen what's going on out there? It's like Bollywood plugged in to a power socket.
Steph is putting up her tree - she and Charlie have been making decorations. She asks about Ned, and Janae admits she's been very jealous. Steph reminds her that Ned's not Boyd - he adores her. Plus, she has to trust him.
The girls and guys are putting up the decorations.
Frazer creeps up behind a bush, James Bond style - only with more cuteness and slightly less cachet. He 'psssts' at Paul and Ollie, and makes a gesture to ask them if they fancy a drink. Paul and Ollie check the girls aren't looking and creep quietly over. But -
BECCA: Oh no no no you don't. Oliver - back up on that ladder. Paul - you go and find me Santa's little helpers, please. (Not Satan's little helpers, as first mistyped. Christmas is not a good time to be dyslexic.)
Becca and Rosie are too excited over the decorations, and Rosie says that the Press are coming - so Becs should remember to invite all her friends. Erm - isn't that rather short notice?! It's not like you didn't know this was happening...
Carmella looks all mournful, and calls Marco - is he free tonight?
Steve and Karl are talking about what happens when their wives get ill, and about wanting to make things better for them. Susan appears, and just starts talking at Karl, completely oblivious to interrupting his chat.
She apologises for before, saying that it's all been about her, lately... And Steve makes a quick excuse to leave and go back to the Winter Wonderland. He doesn't get why one would have fake snow in the middle of a heatwave.
But back to the Ks. She says that an email came from the hospital, and that he's been offered a job as a registrar. Karl's delighted, and realising he's okay with it, Susan gives him a big hug.
SUSAN: My Everest moment - I'm really sorry, I shouldn't have done it knowing how worried you are about me.
KARL: It's okay.
SUSAN: And Karl - I'm sorry for shutting you out. There's no way I could get through this without you.
KARL: Can I have a go? I'm sorry for wrapping you in cotton wool. You're stronger and more determined to meet this than any person I've ever seen.
They're all lovey dovey, and agree that it's a champagne moment. Damn - I was hoping for skinny dipping, but clearly not tonight. We get some cheek kissing and forehead touching and cut to commercials.
All the residents are gathered in a dark Ramsay Street. Harry tells Lou that he's handed the reigns of the Christmas speech over to someone else, this year.
Becca takes the floor. Well, the ground. She thanks everyone for making her and Declan welcome - she's found a new family here, not just in Paul and Elle and Oliver, but in everyone. Aw. This is more like the community heart we've been waiting for! Revamp, be done!
The lights go on!
Number 22! A stable and baby theme!
Number 24! A santa arriving with presents theme!
Number 30! A reindeer and snowman theme!